A brief, introductory astronomy book designed for readers with little or no scientific background, A Beginner's Guide uses an exceptionally clear writing style. The authors present a broad view of astronomy without complex mathematics, yet the book discusses important concepts without simplification.
The book's organization follows the popular and effective “Earth-Out” progression, starting with our planet and then moving through the solar system. A study of the Sun as a model star follows, then the book covers the Milky Way Galaxy, cosmology, and the universe as a whole.
Because of its easy-to-read yet comprehensive coverage of astronomy, this book can serve as excellent reference material for those readers interested in learning about our universe. Personal Response System: Through a partnership with Interwrite PRS, this text is available with the PRS clicker system. The Instructor Resource Center on CD-ROM contains conceptual "clicker" questions in PowerPoint.
This introductory textbook by Chaisson (Tufts U.) and McMillan (Drexel U.) has some of the best explanations of light and matter I've seen in a textbook for non-science majors<-->particularly good are the sections on spectral analysis. The third edition incorporates new information about recent discoveries: e.g., the reported detection of neutrino oscillations and its relevance to the solar neutrino problem; new H-R diagram based on data on nearby stars; and discussion of recent spacecraft missions to Mars and the mission to asteroid Eros. Chapters follow the earth-out approach: from the Earth and its moon to galaxies and cosmology. The CD-ROM includes an electronic version of the text and 56 videos with voiceovers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)